Nurses' decision ‘inevitable’ – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D. today said that the industrial action being undertaken by Nurses working in emergency departments across Ireland is the inevitable outcome of years of cuts to essential frontline services and the ever deteriorating state of our health services under the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“Today there are 339 patients on trolleys across the state. This unacceptable figure has consistently presented over recent years. Nurses and other health professionals are stretched to the maximum. Patient safety is in jeopardy as has been shown by recent revelations of the abhorrent circumstances some have found themselves in in hospitals across the state.
“Whatever “plan” the Minister for Health claims to have in place is simply not working and it is no surprise that nurses working in our emergency departments have decided to take industrial action.
“The health service is in complete chaos and the Government have no one to blame but themselves. They have not delivered on any of the promises made during the last election or in their Programme for Government. Indeed two years ago the then Minister James Reilly said; “We will never again see 569 people on trolleys on a single day while this Government is in office”. And as we all know, we have.
“What we need is adequate investment to tackle this serious problem. The miserable €18 million additional Health funding in the Budget for 2016 is a damning indictment of the Government's approach to the Health crisis and will do nothing to alleviate the pressures on staff in our hospitals.
“In Sinn Féin's Budget 2016 proposals, we provided an additional €383m to tackle the crisis in the health system and that is just in year one. We identified a number of areas where we would invest in both additional staff and services that have the potential to alleviate the pressures on emergency departments, in maternity units and across the disability services.
“Sinn Féin is committed to the realisation of a world-class system of universal health care that is accessed on the basis of need, free at the point of delivery, and funded by progressive taxation” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.